Naloxone access point to open Friday at Grace Christian Church

·1 min read

Sep. 22—Site to have naloxone kits, fentanyl test strips available to help in fight against lethal overdoses

In an effort to prevent further overdose deaths in the community after having five overdoses — including two deaths — in a little over a month, a new effort has started in Albert Lea designating Grace Christian Church in Albert Lea as a naloxone access point.

A team of local leaders that formed to bring the service to the community gave a presentation Wednesday about what the access point entails and issues tied to drug use in the area.

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As an access point, a group of volunteers will provide naloxone kits to people who come into the church during designated times, as well as fentanyl test strips. Future efforts will be planned regarding additional naloxone education and intervention.

Naloxone is a medication approved by the Federal Drug Administration to reverse an opioid overdose in as little as two to five minutes. While the drug is available in an intranasal spray, at the Grace Christian site intramuscular injections will be given out.

The Revs. George and Jill Marin of Grace Christian Church, who have also served in Fountain Centers for 25 years, participated in the presentation with licensed alcohol and drug counselors Lee Zuniga and Kay Drenth-Johannsen. The four are part of a team that formed that includes other community leaders and licensed alcohol and drug counselors, along with the mother of 16-year-old Manny Chavez, an Albert Lea student who died from an overdose in late July.